Chisipite Senior Orchestra on the long road from Zimbabwe


A collection of girls from the music department of my alma mater, Chisipite Senior School, travelled to Grahamstown for their first ever National Arts Festival this year. This multifaceted, many-talented group put on a magnificent performance at the Thomas Pringle Hall. The combination of orchestra, marimbas and vocals being employed in traditional, classical and modern music was spectacular. By Shannon Wilson.

Chisipite is an all girls’ school from Harare, Zimbabwe. Having performed in their home country as well as South Africa and France, directors Di Wright and Nicola Seager decided that the National Arts Festival would be an amazing opportunity for the girls.

Seager says Chisipite did not expect to be invited to perform in Grahamstown, because she knows it is unusual for schools to be accepted into the main programme. This came as no surprise for Seager, though. “I feel that our girls are good enough to be apart of the festival, but I know the standards are really high so we were really pleased!” she says.

Being a Chisipite old girl, I was proud to be apart of the audience. The floors vibrated from the energy and music being created by the fusion of instruments coming together on stage.

“It’s been full of fun with extremely high energy!” says Seager. Chisipite Senior School presented an unforgettable performance that moved the sizable audience – who gave them a standing ovation.

Some of the songs being featured at the Chisipite School Orchestra and Afrojazz Ensemble are “How to Train Your Dragon” by John Powell, “Manhanga Kutapira” a Zimabwean folk song meaning sweet pumpkins and “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle Book.


By Shannon Wilson